“Moving On” – A randomized controlled trial for acceptability and feasibility of an early physical therapy education intervention for breast cancer surgical candidates.

Abstract

Purpose.  1) Revise an existing physical therapy education booklet and create a post-operative exercise DVD for breast cancer (BCA) surgery candidates; 2) conduct a pilot study to evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of an early physical therapy education intervention targeting BCA surgical candidates.  Methods & Data.  Our sample will be from the Comprehensive Breast Health Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. In 2011, 1175 patients underwent BCA surgery. Based on these data, we will recruit ≈10% of this annual population. Recruited participants will be randomly allocated into the intervention or control groups. The intervention group will receive the “Moving On” booklet, exercise DVD, and standard BWH pre-operative orientation whereas the control group will receive the standard BWH pre-operative surgical orientation. We will measure shoulder range of motion, muscle strength, shoulder disability, pain, fatigue, and health-related quality of life. All measures are reliable, valid and sensitive. Measures will be taken pre-surgery (T0), 2nd post-operative week (or when surgical drains are removed – T1), and 3rd post-operative month (T2). Data will be analyzed with descriptive statistics, repeated measures ANOVA and general linear modeling with 1-tailed tests and a significance level of p < .05. Expected Results. We expect that early physical therapy education intervention is acceptable and feasible for BCA surgical candidates. Compared to the control group, we expect the intervention participants will report fewer physical and functional limitations, recover faster, and report greater knowledge and awareness of physical and functional short, long and late effects of BCA surgery.